This post is by Sheneeta White, an assistant professor in the Operations and Supply Chain Management Department

0902HHN_COO[1]For many companies, the chief operating officer (COO) is often considered to be the CEO-in-training. For example, prior to Tim Cook becoming the new CEO of Apple, he was the company’s chief operating officer. He oversaw the management of Apple’s supply chain from end-to-end. In August 2011, Clearwire, the high-speed Internet service provider, named COO Erik Prusch to the CEO position because of his experience with the day-to-day operations of the company. In a recent study, Accenture found that one in nine COOs succeed the CEO within a year.

So, why are COOs often tapped as successors?

Knowledge of a company’s operations brings a lot to the table. COOs, directors of operations and supply chain professionals all are responsible for managing a company’s productive resources. They seek to provide value to customers through high-quality, cost-efficient products and services. This value then translates into customer loyalty, customer satisfaction and increased profits. So, undergraduate and graduate students alike should continually seek a greater understanding of operations and supply chain management as they climb their way to the top.

To learn more, visit UST’s Operations and Supply Chain Management department.